Predominant high melting point solders for high temperature and harsh environment electronics (operating temperatures from 200 to 250°C) are Pb-based systems, which are being subjected to RoHS regulations because of their toxic nature. In this study, high bismuth (Bi) alloy compositions with Bi-XSb-10Cu (X from 10 wt.% to 20 wt.%) were designed and developed to evaluate their potential as high-temperature, Pb-free replacements. Reflow processes were developed to make die-attach samples made out of the cast Bi alloys. In particular, die-attach joints made out of Bi-15Sb-10Cu alloy exhibited an average shear strength of 24 MPa, which is comparable to that of commercially available high Pb solders. These alloy compositions also retained original shear strength even after thermal shock between −55°C and +200°C and high temperature storage at 200°C. Brittle interfacial fracture sometimes occurred along the interfacial NiSb layer formed between Bi(Sb) matrix and Ni metallized surface. In addition, heat dissipation capabilities, using flash diffusivity, were measured on the die-attach assembly, compared to the corresponding bulk alloys. The thermal conductivity of all the Bi-Sb alloys was higher than that of pure Bi. By creating high volume fraction of precipitates in a die-attach joint microstructure, it was feasible to further increase thermal conductivity of this joint to 24 W/m·K, which is three times higher than that of pure Bi (8 W/m·K). Bi-15Sb-10Cu alloy has so far shown the most promising performance as a die-attach material for high temperature applications (operated over 200°C). Hence, this alloy was further studied to evaluate its potential for plastic deformation. Bi-15Sb-10Cu alloy has shown limited plastic deformation in room temperature tensile testing, in which premature fracture occurred via the cracks propagated on the (111) cleavage planes of rhombohedral crystal structure of the Bi(Sb) matrix. The same alloy has, however, shown up to 7% plastic strain under tension when tested at 175°C. The cleavage planes, which became oriented at smaller angles to the tensile stress, contributed to improved plasticity in the high temperature test.

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